Friday, July 24, 2009 – Le Conte Bay

Posted Posted in North America, Scuba, Sightseeing

Friday, July 24, 2009 – Le Conte Bay

Alaskan Icebergs

The icebergs in Alaska were not nearly as large as those in Antarctica but still beautiful to see. Captain Mike is a maestro behind the ships wheel; he maneuvered us within feet of the iceberg so we could get up close for photos. Shannon and I laughed at the similarities between this trip and the trip we took to the southern hemisphere; here we are yet again – bundled up on the deck of ship taking loads of pictures of ice, vistas, and rocky terrain. Freezing our tushies off. Totally worth it.


Mac Daddy Glacier – from far away

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Thursday, July 23, 2009 – “Smudge” Fjord

Posted Posted in North America, Scuba, Sightseeing

Thursday, July 23, 2009 – “Smudge” Fjord

Shannon and I slept in, thinking we’d catch the second or third zodiak tour, but we just missed the tour and there wasn’t time for another before the 10:30 dive briefing. Plus Enrique was serving a full breakfast so we opted for warm food rather than wet, rainy close-ups of waterfalls.

“I miss our humpbacks.” said Shannon, looking out our porthole at the calm, quiet, whale-free fjord.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009- Baranof Island

Posted Posted in North America, Scuba, Sightseeing

Wednesday, July 22, 2009- Baranof Island

Dive #1 – Baranof Rock

We did a “hot drop” off the boat for our first dive, which involves sitting in the skiff and – while the Nautilus is in motion – sliding the skiff back into the water to take off for the dive. It prevents the Nautilus from having to anchor and gives us divers the thrill of doing some thing James Bondish… even though it all happens very slowly and safely.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009 – Icy Strait

Posted Posted in North America, Scuba, Sightseeing

Tuesday, July 21, 2009 – Icy Strait

Zodiac Tour #1 (Memorable Moment #2)

Shannon and I got up bright and early to make the first round of zodiac touring, ready to take advantage of the early-morning ocean activity – and we certainly weren’t disappointed. A hundred feet away from the boat we found a sea lion in the misty water playing with a salmon it had caught in its mouth. Seconds later a whale spout shot behind it and two humpbacks surfaced in a perfect picture moment.


Sea lion and a humpback

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Sunday, July 19, 2009 – Seattle to Sitka

Posted Posted in North America, Scuba, Sightseeing

We woke early, packed up, and met my friend Ken for breakfast at Dave’s Diner. Ken is a friend I met while traveling China in 2001 and then later while passing through Seattle in 2002. I haven’t seen him since but we’ve kept in touch over the years, and this morning we all had a lovely breakfast catching up and talking about Ken’s big move from the west coast to the east. Then Shannon and I made him drive us all over to a Walgreen’s (actually, two) then drop us off at the airport for our flight to Sitka, Alaska.

Thanks Ken! I’m so bummed we didn’t think to take any pictures. That was just silly.

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Saturday, July 18, 2009 – NYC to Seattle

Posted Posted in North America, Scuba, Sightseeing

After our 2008 trip to the icebergs and glaciers of Antarctica one might think that Shannon and I have a preference toward cold-weather vacations. That’s just not true, though it’s hard to believe since we willingly picked a two-week vacation to Alaska. My dive shop, Pan Aqua organized a trip to Alaska with the Nautilus Explorer, and it sounded like a fabulous adventure – even if no passport was required.

I left on Saturday afternoon with my two 49-pound bags (one scuba gear and one regular clothes) and flew into Seattle to meet Shannon at the “World’s Largest Doubletree”. We walked across the major intersection for a chicken salad at Dave’s Diner, where only the lounge was still open at 10PM Seattle time and the only people there – other than the waitress and us – were four fisherman (with mustaches) who played Guns ‘N Roses over and over on the jukebox.

Nothing else to report. Just bedtime!